In a judgment released on Friday 11 September 2015, Sir Justice Munby, President of the Family Division commented that it is not for him to provide guidance as to how the serious and systematic failings in fertility treatment have occurred as this is a function of HFEA. However, given the number of cases that have reached court and the potential legal consequences that he felt necessary to comment as follows.
When receiving fertility treatment, certain documents are exceptionally important and the documents need better explanation and in particular the fact that they may have 'dire legal consequences' as a failure to comply with the same. In addition that all clinics need to consider at all times and in meticulous detail the HFEA guidance and directions; in particular in relation to forms of legal parentage.
Within clinics, practices need to be developed to ensure that the emphasis is not just on one person to meet the obligations but that these forms which are completed alongside dozens of others are completed and retained in full and that individuals are aware of the importance of them.
President Munby made these comments in the Judgement of eight separate cases where there were issues with regard to legal parentage after fertility treatment. In doing so, he relied on the case of X v Y v St Bartholomew’s Centre for Reproductive Medicine  in which Giles Wilson LLP acted for X v Y. In particular, Sir Munby went through the four principle parts that were established in X v Y , which can help the court make a decision on whether it was intended to confer legal parenthood on a party in fertility treatment.
Given that there are numerous other cases still to come to court on these issues, it will be interesting to see how this further develops. Sir Munby has commented that the case of X v Y, in which he agrees with Mrs Justice This’ judgment, has meant that only questions of fact in these newer cases are of issue.
Therefore, if you have received fertility treatment between 2009 and 2013 and have concerns about your status as a parent then please contact Giles Wilson Solicitors in Leigh-on-Sea and Rochford, Essex.